VIOLENCE against hospital staff will be the subject of a new campaign

It comes after East Lancashire Hospitals Trust chiefs said there have been 'deeply concerning' and 'unacceptable' incidents where members of staff have been subjected to 'unjustifiable' verbal and physical abuse.

The 'Your Safety Matters' campaign will target against deliberate acts of aggression and violence and remind people that it will not be tolerated and the strongest possible action will be taken against those who are abusive.

Professor Damian Riley, acting chief executive at the trust, said: “Our staff should be able to come to work without fear of violence, abuse or harassment from patients or their relatives. In most cases, patients and their relatives are appreciative, however, a minority of people are abusive or violent towards our staff. This is completely unacceptable.

"We recognise that some people may have an acute illness that affects behaviour, and staff are fully trained in dealing with this. However, we will be launching our campaign ‘Your Safety Matters’ campaign targeting against deliberate acts of aggression and violence. It aims to remind people that we will not tolerate such behaviour and will take the strongest possible action against those who are abusive."

Prof Riley said the trust will work closely with police and that posters will be placed around the hospital alongside a social media campaign.

He said there will also be an increased focus within its hospitals over the coming months on supporting staff to deal with aggressive behaviour.

This will include conflict resolution training, carrying out risk assessments and better signposting to support services.

He added: "The campaign aims to encourage people to think about the person behind the uniform - and to treat them with the same level of respect they would want their own family to be treated. The message to our staff is that this is not part of the job. They should not have to put up with it, and we will do all we can to protect, help and support them."